Today, Paula tells us all about crafting that perfect book boyfriend. Micah totally deserves to be on some end of the year swoon worthy book boys lists, and here is how Paula created him!
Kathy asked me to talk a little bit about how I crafted the my perfectly delicious book boyfriend, and of course I never miss an opportunity to blather on about Micah. He is so awesome he has his own book boyfriend post over at Reading Lark! Here are a few reasons I think he works so well as the swoony guy in THE ART OF LAINEY.
1. He’s awesome. Micah possesses the four most important traits a guy can have— kindness, honesty, a sense of humor, and a mohawk. Okay, maybe the mohawk is optional. Maybe. Bonus factor: he can bake.
2. He’s not too awesome. I love a guy with magical powers who speaks six languages and owns a mansion as much as the next girl, I’ve just never met one. I worked hard to make Micah feel like a real teen boy, with real teen boy habits and flaws. He tapes sheets over his windows, skips the occasional shower, and says inappropriate things without thinking. He snaps at his mom, acts out when he’s upset, he even smokes! (He’s totally trying to quit, though.) And like most guys, he’s not good at expressing his feelings. It’s easier for him to give Lainey a cookie at work or pretend a kiss is part of a game than it is to just tell her that he likes her. Basically, I wanted Micah to be an awesome guy, but still feel attainable. You, reader-person. You can absolutely have your own Micah. You deserve your own Micah.
3. He’s a little bit real. So yeah, unfortunately Micah doesn’t exist. Most of him is completely made up, but tiny parts of him were inspired by four different guys I dated or used to know. A coffee shop barista shared the story behind his Roky Erickson pyramid tattoo with me. The mohawk was (is? I hope is, but I can’t say for sure) sported by one of the funniest guys I ever knew. Micah’s sweet side comes partially from the Perfect Ex-Boyfriend who shall remain nameless. And then there’s the Musical Genius, who taught me so much about music. It can be scary to use real-life people as inspirations, but I also think it can add a layer of authenticity. Fun fact: When Lainey’s mom talks about seeing a guy in a movie cutting up six-pack rings to save baby animals? Yeah, I saw the barista doing that one day and was instantly charmed.
4. He grows. A lot of readers have come down hard on Lainey for being judgmental in the beginning of the story, and I understand why. But Micah is just as judgmental (as you’ll see in the novella INFINITE REPEAT if you didn’t see it in Lainey) when it comes to Lainey and her “popular friends.” She thinks he’s weird. He thinks she’s made of plastic. I’ve actually experienced the whole book from Micah’s POV, too, and he’s just as freaked out by the idea of dating someone so radically different as she is. He goes through really similar questions—Is it just a physical attraction thing? Would we get along if we dated for real? Am I just rushing into something new?—and comes to the same conclusion as Lainey does: he no longer wants what makes sense for him, what he’s sure he can make work. He wants what he wants, even if it feels a little crazy to him.I’ve seen a lot of readers use the L-word to describe these two, and that makes me kind of happy because Micah and Lainey do not say “I love you,” and will not, for several months. They’re just more guarded than that. Yet when I finished the book, it felt like the beginning of love to me. Seeing so many people agree makes me feel like I did a good job showing instead of telling.
If you’re interested in getting to know Micah even better, definitely check out his e-novella, INFINITE REPEAT. It features Micah, Amber, and Trinity most prominently, with just a few dashes of Lainey for comedic relief.
Paula Stokes is half writer, half RN, and totally thrilled to be part of the world of YA literature. She grew up in St. Louis, Missouri where she graduated from Washington University and the Goldfarb School of Nursing. When she's not writing, she's kayaking, hiking, reading, or seeking out new adventures in faraway lands. Paula loves interacting with readers! Find her online at www.authorpaulastokes.com or on twitter as @pstokesbooks.
Here are a few places to purchase The Art of Lainey
Amazon Canada: http://www.amazon.ca/
B and N: http://www.
Chapters Indigo: http://www.chapters.
The Book Depository: http://www.
Or order a signed copy from Paula's favourite indie, Left Bank Books. More info here:
Here is a rafflecopter for you to win a copy of The Art of Lainey! It's open internationally as well. Other giveaways are included with other posts on the blog tour!
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